IDEA’s excess cost and MOE requirements

All school administrative units (SAUs) that receive funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are reminded to review two important requirements governing those funds to ensure compliance with them.

First, the excess cost provision, which requires that SAUs use IDEA funds only for the purpose of paying those excess costs of providing special education to children with disabilities.  These excess costs must be calculated separately for elementary and secondary education (34 CFR Section 300.202).

Second, the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provision, which requires that SAUs maintain the amount of local (or alternatively, the amount of State and local) funds expended for the education of children with disabilities. The amount expended establishes the level of expenditure to be maintained from year to year, called “the MOE level” (34 CFR Section 300.203).

The fiscal compliance reviews conducted by the Department’s Office of Special Services this year have revealed that  SAUs do not always fully understand these requirements, so Special Services has been working with SAUs to ensure understanding of, and compliance with them.  Beginning July 1, noncompliance with these requirements may result in the SAU being required to return funds to the Department, and/or ineligibility for future funding under IDEA.

Please be sure to contact tyler.backus@maine.gov in the Office of Special Services if you have questions or need technical assistance with respect to these important requirements.  For additional resources, please visit the Office of Special Service’s fiscal accountability webpage and the Department’s audit webpage.